These bars are a wonderfully easy dessert for a large party, cookie exchange, or other holiday gathering. I dare you to eat only one! It is impossible to resist nibbling at the crumbled cookie pieces left in the pan after they are cut.
The recipe is called raspberry streusel and calls for raspberry jam and fresh raspberries. However, when I was ready to make them not a single jar of raspberry jam was to be found anywhere in the house (I was sure there was one in the pantry somewhere); a jar of mixed berry jam was successfully substituted. The bars turned out delicious. Feel free to substitute any kind of berry jam for the raspberry jam in the recipe, and any fresh (or frozen berry). I even think the bars would be wonderful with apricots if there is a glut in your house. Unfortunately we will have to wait a few months before fresh apricots are in season (dried ones could work if reconsititued…let me know if you try it).
This recipe is adapted from one in Cook’s Illustrated, October 2005.
Raspberry Streusel Bars
- 3 ¼ cups of all purpose flour
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
- 3 sticks of unsalted butter (12 oz.) at room temperature, cut into ½ inch cubes
- Parchment paper
- Baking spray or butter
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a food processor, process flour, sugar, and salt until combined, about 5 seconds.
- Scatter the butter pieces over the flour and pulse until mixture looks like damp sand, about 20 1-second pulses.
- Remove 1/3 of the crust mixture into a medium bowl and set side.
- Line a sheet pan or jellyroll pan with parchment paper and apply baking spray, or coat with butter.
- Using your hands or a flat-bottomed measuring cup, firmly press the remaining 2/3 of the mixture in an even layer to form the bottom crust.
- Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 12-15 minutes.
Streusel and filling:
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup rolled oats
- ¾ cup pecan pieces, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature, cut into cubes
- 1 ¼ cups raspberry or other berry preserves
- 2 cups of fresh raspberries or 1 ½ cups of strained thawed frozen fruit (can use strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- While crust is baking, make the streusel topping. Add brown sugar, oats, and nuts to the reserved crust mixture; toss to combine.
- Work in the butter by rubbing mixture between your fingers until the butter is fully incorporated. Pinch mixture with your fingers to create pea-sized clumps. Set aside.
- Make the filling: In a small bowl combine the preserves, berries, lemon juice, and salt. Mash with a fork until combined but some small berry pieces remain.
- Spread the filling evenly over the hot crust.
- Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the filling (do not press).
- Return the pan to the oven and bake until the topping is deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling., about 18 minutes.
- Cool slightly in the refrigerator before cutting into squares or rectangles with a sharp chef’s knife.
I’m taking these to share with the gang at Fiesta Friday, you’ll find the party at Angie’s Novice Gardener blog. Please join us!